banner image

:: He Died With A Felafel In His Hand

Danny (Noah Taylor) is a wannabe writer trapped in share house hell. He is living in his 47th share house in tropical Brisbane. Like everyone else he lives with he is trying to work out the essential mysteries of life in relation to love, sex and the universe. His flatmate's are bizarre, from the scary biker who insists on whacking cane toads with a golf stick into the side of the house, to the intelligent Sam and then there’s the new flatmate the anarchic diva Anya. Adapted into a screenplay by Lowenstein, John Brimingham’s book was a raving success. The book went on to become a play, winning pub audiences and playing up the books raucous sense of humour and grainy use of Australian vernacular.

Noah in his typically dour way portrays the semi-depressed Danny superbly. He lived for some time in a flat Lowenstein rented out and it was this period during which Lowenstein wrote the screenplay, so there was an off screen connection for them both involving share houses. Whilst the book is raw and anecdotal, Lowenstein's film is more surreal as a life seen through the eyes of Danny. A series of randomly bizarre incidents and the chaos of life living with a tirade of strangers are shadowed by the more existential questions in life.
A turning point in the film arises when what looks like a Wicca ritual invoking supernatural sources lead by Anya is invaded by Nazi’s, in addition to the Mafia types who own the property arriving during the theatrics to collect the unpaid rent. A short lived house 48 finds Danny still on the dole, and lots of black in a drizzly Melbourne. His desperation to be a writer peaks as he tortuously pens a story for Penthouse magazine. House number 49 is cleaner, and has a view but his flatmate’s are just as off the rails, unfocused and screwed up as at the last house. One is an anal aspiring actress, another a homosexual who comes out and nobody cares, the biker turns up as does Sam and then Anya. He just can’t get away from old flat mates. Finally a seemingly irresolvable love triangle emerges for Danny, Anya and Sam. Unrequited love, $25,000 for Penthouse and the death of a friend, signals a new beginning and a new share house.

There is a melancholic tone to this film that is tragically reflective of real life in share houses. Rich in characterisation, it is essentially an arthouse film with appeal to a wide youth audience.

Screening at the Brighton Bay Cinema, George Cinemas, Cinema Europa, Rivoli Cinemas.